San Diego police Officer Ivan Sablan donates kidney to dispatcher Jeff Monis

SAN DIEGO - A San Diego police officer who donated his kidney to a fellow member of the law enforcement community spoke to 10News about the emotional journey.

Officer Ivan Sablan did not know dispatcher Jeff Monis. Now, they are linked through the gift of life.

Monis, a recruiter for San Diego police dispatchers, was on dialysis for three years and needed a kidney transplant.

It was Sablan, a training officer and 28-year veteran of the force, who volunteered to donate.

"A perfect stranger; I never thought in a million years it would ever happen," Monis said.

There were fundraisers held for Monis, including one at Eastlake Tavern earlier this month. However, Sablan wanted to do more for the father of three.

"Everyone needs fundraisers, but I think this guy needs a kidney," Sablan said of his decision.

Sablan did not hesitate, saying his faith guided him to give.

"He's got kids that he can play with, enjoy. I'm an old guy. I've already done that with my kids!" Sablan joked.

The two underwent surgery last week at UC San Diego Medical Center. It was a successful, yet emotional time for both men.

Monis held back tears as he thought about his second chance of life.

"Playing with my kids again, it's a big deal. Doing things with my family that I haven't been able to do in those three years," Monis said.

Sablan said Monis is the one who reinforced in him the power of giving.

"I'm very grateful for that opportunity and that privilege," Sablan said.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are more than 90,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list.

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